Bernardo Daddi (1280 – 1348) was an early Italian Renaissance painter and apprentice of Giotto. He was also influenced by the Sienese art of Lorenzetti.
Daddi’s birth date remains unknown. He is first mentioned in 1312. He focused on religious motifs and altarpieces. A triptych he painted in 1328 is in the Uffizi, and there are several panels in National Gallery of Art and the Walters Art Museum. Fiorentino in style, worked in Giotto’s workshop with all those who will be the interpreters of the late master style (such as Taddeo Gaddi, Stefano Fiorentino, Maso di Banco, etc.). Regarding these painters, and Daddi himself is no exception, criticism has always been, probably not wrong, extremely harsh. However, Daddi was greatly appreciated and managed to get important commissions from both the institutions and the bourgeoisie becoming one of the most renowned and wealthy Florentine painters. Franco Sacchetti in the Trecentonovelle remembers him as one of Giotto’s best followers, but Vasari remembers he just escaped the Scenes.
He has been a member of the Doctors and Spectacular Arts since 1319, his first sure work in the Triptych of Ognissanti dated 1328 and now kept in the Uffizi. At this time, his intervention, one of the few frescoes, was to be found in the Basilica of Santa Croce, where he decorated the Fountain Chapel with Stories of Saints Stefano and Lorenzo.
Daddi became the leading painter of Florence during his generation. His last work dates from 1347, and it is believed he died the next year. In 1348 he probably hit the plague and died: the polyptych for the church of San Giorgio in Ruballa dates back to 1348, but a Florentine document of August of that year cited it as having disappeared.
Compared to Giottesque styles, Daddi has a more refined painting that is probably approaching the most aristocratic (and most appreciated by, the high bourgeoisie) Sienese art in the ways of Ambrogio Lorenzetti. The more complex and curable use of color and traits will then evolve into those that will be the dominant features that are perfectly identifiable in its later works.
The Coronation of the Virgin, a table of 1344 for the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, and a brilliant masterpiece of the most poetic and sophisticated among Giotto’s followers, is one of the most solemn and triumphant Christian figurations, which has had a remarkable fortune especially in ‘Art of the 14th and 15th centuries.
Altarolo with the Crucifixion of Christ, Madonna with Child in Throne and Angels, Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Peter and St. Bartholomew, Prato, private collection
Annunciation with Two Angels, Paris, Louvre Museum
Frescoes with Stories of St. Lawrence and Saint Stephen, Florence, Basilica of Santa Croce, Chapel Fleks (then Beraldi Chapel and now Bardi of Liberty Chapel):
Martyrdom of Saint Stephen
Martyrdom of St. Lawrence
Madonna of the Magnificat, Vatican Pinacoteca, inv. 174 (center panel)
Santa Maria Maddalena, New York, private collection
Holy Bishop, Munich, Alte Pinakothek, inv. 10828
St. John the Evangelist, Fiesole, Bandini Museum, inv. 10
Santa Caterina d’Alessandria and Donor, Florence, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, counter-faced
Holy Bishop on Throne, Ajaccio, Fesch Museum, inv. 188
Altarolo Kress with the Madonna on the throne, angels and saints, Washington, National Gallery of Art, inv. 1952.5.61 (K1718)
Triptych with the Coronation of the Virgin Mary between angels and saints, Nativity and Crucifixion, Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, inv. 1064
Triptych of All Saints with Our Lady with Child, St. Matthew the Evangelist and St. Nicola of Bari, signed and dated 1328, Florence, Uffizi, inv. 3073
Madonna with Child, Barcelona, National Art Museum de Catalunya, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection
Saint Michael Archangel, Crespina, St. Michael’s Church
St. Catherine of Alexandria, New York, private collection
Crucifix, Florence, Museo Bardini, inv.771
Polittico with the Madonna and Child, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Bartholomew, St. Barnabas and St. Catherine of Alexandria, 1332-1335, Prato, Civic Museum, coming from the Hospital of Mercy, San Barnaba Church
Stories of the Sacred Belt (polytic predella), 1337-38, Prato, Civic Museum, coming from the Prato Cathedral
Madonna with Child (Central Magazine), Houston, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Inv. 1979.26
St. Helena and holy bishop, Bergamo, private collection;
St. John the Evangelist, Kansas City, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, inv. 39-14
San Lorenzo, Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera, inv. 726
San Giacomo Maggiore, Gazzada Schianno, Museum of Villa Cagnola
San Zanobi, Florence, Uffizi, inv. 8345
Altarolo with Madonna with Child on the throne and saints, episodes of the life of St. Nicholas of Bari, Nativity and Crucifixion, (dated 1333), Florence, Museo del Bigallo
Madonna and Child, angels and saints, signed by BERNARDUS DE FLORENTIA and dated 1334), Florence, Uffizi
Polyptych of San Pancrazio (circa 1335), Florence, Uffizi inv. 8345;
Trittico: Madonna with Child in Throne and Saints, dated 1338; London, Courtauld Gallery, P.1978.PG.81.1
Madonna with Child, Florence, Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Berenson Collection
Coronation of Virgin Mary among Angels and Saints, Florence, Academy Gallery, Inv. 3449
Eight Parade Squares with Stories of Saint Stephen, Vatican Museums, Inv. 147-148-149-150, 158-159-160-161
Five Starlet Magazines with Stories of Saint Reparata: Brussels, Collection Mme Paul Pechère (1); Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz Museum (1); New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (3)
Crucified with the Sorrows and Stories of the Passion, Florence, Academy Gallery
Polyptych with the Madonna with Child in Throne and Saints, (dated 1344 and signed), Florence, Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Chaplain of the Spaniards
Madonna with the Child (1347), Florence, Orsanmichele
Polyptych with the Crucifixion of Christ and saints for the church of San Giorgio a Ruballa (1348), now in London, Courtauld Gallery, P.1966.GP.82 (the predella is dispersed in various museums).
Madonna on the throne with the Child (1330), St. Peter’s Church in Lecore (Signa)
St. John the Baptist (1320), La Spezia, Amedeo Lia Civic Museum
Coronation of the Virgin (circa 1340), London, National Gallery